Odede ’12, Wood ’12 Featured Graduates

In a story on outstanding Class of 2012 graduates by NBC Nightly News, Kennedy Odede ’12 and Lowell Wood were both profiled by the newscast. Odede, who scraped his way to Wesleyan from Kibera, the worst slum in Kenya, and who created a school, health center and clean water station in Kibera while studying at Wesleyan, discussed hope and opportunity.

Wood, who transferred to Wesleyan as a sophomore but remained in ROTC from his previous school, discussed building bridges and understanding regarding his choice to serve in the military. Wood’s piece is below the main graduation story in the personal profiles section. He is the third student profile in the series (first row, third profile).

An Evening with Julia Louis-Dreyfus P’14

On April 12, Julia Louis-Dreyfus P’14, producer and star of “VEEP,” sat down with President Michael Roth ’78 and nearly 300 Wesleyan students, alumni, and parents at The Times Center in New York City for a premiere screening and conversation about her new HBO show. A video of the event is below:

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Odede ’12 Motivated by Mother, Sisters

Kennedy Odede ’12 was featured in a recent piece in The Hartford Courant discussing his mother’s impact on all he has done in the last four years. Odede came to Wesleyan from the Kibera slum of Nairobi and has since built a school, a clean water latrine, and a health center back home. He will also give the student commencement address at Wesleyan’s 2012 Commencement ceremonies. He hopes his mother is well enough to attend.

Wesleyan Seniors Continue School’s Rockin’ Tradition

A piece in USA Today focuses on Wesleyan’s recent run of turning out bands and individuals who are making names for themselves in popular music.  The article mentions MGMT (Ben Goldwasser ’05, Andrew VanWyngarden ’05; Will Berman ’04), Das Racist (Victor Vasquez ’06, Himanshu Suri ’07), Santigold (Santi White ’97), Amazing Baby (Simon O’Connor ’05), among others, as well as Peace Museum, which features Wesleyan Seniors Casey Feldman ’12, Sky Stallbaumer ’12. Audio clips from the various acts are included with the article

Ex-Inmates Use Dante to Learn, Inform, Entertain

A feature in The Boston Globe profiles a class at York Correctional Facility taught by Ron Jenkins and aided by his Wesleyan students that has provided opportunities for inmates after their release. The class led Jenkins to write a play about some of the inmates interspersing Dante’s Divine Comedy with their own experiences. The now ex-inmates and Jenkins will do a reading from the play at Harvard University this week.


Faculty, Students Present at International AGU Conference

Graduate student Austin Reed presented his first results for his MA thesis at the American Geophysical Union conference. Reed and his advisor, Johan Varekamp, are examining the evolution of two large explosive volcanic eruptions in the Greek arc.

Three faculty members from Earth and Environmental Sciences, as well as two graduate students and two undergraduate students, presented their research at the annual conference of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco, Calif., Dec. 5-7. The conference drew more than 20,000 scientists and policy makers from around the world.

Associate Professors Suzanne O’Connell and Dana Royer, Assistant Professor Phillip Resor, and Austin Reed MA-candidate, Rosemary Ostfeld BA ‘10/MA ‘12, and Julia Mulhern ’12 all attended. In addition, a poster by Katherine Shervais ’13, was also presented.

“Our research in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is so diverse, and it is exciting to see Wesleyan faculty, students, and alumni contributing to technical sessions spread across many of the AGU sections,” Resor says.

Video Feature on Intelligent Landscape Design Group WILD Wes

Below is a video featuring WILD Wes (Working for Intelligent Landscape Design at Wesleyan). WILD Wes is a Wesleyan student group working to transform fossil-fuel-intensive lawns into food-producing, ecologically-regenerative landscapes. WILD Wes is currently working on its first project: a 3/4 acre courtyard situated in a cluster of West College.

The video was created by WILD Wes member Erin O’Donnell ’12 and Ofer Levy ’12, who were enrolled in the “Documentary Advocacy” class. Jacob Bricca, adjunct assistant professor of film studies, taught the FILM 150 course last fall.

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Khan ’12 Brings “Brighter Dawns” to Bangladesh

ABC News 7 in Chicago has a feature on Tasmiha Khan ’12, who, with her sister, founded the non-profit organization Brighter Dawns after a family vacation to Bangladesh. Khan and her sister were horrified at the lack of access to fresh water and sanitation in parts of the country, particularly in Ward 12, a slum in Khalishpur. They are working on a $15,000 budget to create 10 wells and 30 latrines in Ward 12 by the end of the year. Khan’s efforts with Brighter Dawns was also featured in a number of Wesleyan Connection stories which can be found here, here, here and here.

Varekamp, Students Chart Mercury Pollution in Cove

A recent piece in The Hartford Courant details the work done documenting more than 300 years of pollution in a local cove by Johann Varekamp, professor of earth and environmental sciences, and his graduate students. The study examined at Wethersfield Cove, which is located just south of Hartford off the Connecticut River and was cut off from the river by a violent storm in 1692. The researchers found high levels of mercury, which was used extensively by industrial manufacturers until the early 20th century. The study resulted in a paper titled “Wethersfield Cove, Hartford, CT – A 300 Year Urban Pollution Record,” which Varekamp presented at the annual national meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) this month in Minneapolis.